New features for web developers in ASP.NET 2.0

New Controls

This article was originally published on DNJ Online
DNJ Online
This article was originally published on DNJ Online

Configuration and Management

Version 2.0 of ASP.NET supports new features that allow you to deploy your Web applications more efficiently. In particular, in conjunction with Visual Studio 2005, you can pre-compile all your pages and deploy via the file system, FrontPage server extensions, FTP or a network share. You can also take advantage of the new auto-compilation features for custom class files (such as business logic or data access components), Web Service WSDL files, and Typed DataSet classes, which means you no longer have to pre-compile these.

Version 2.0 also aims to make ASP.NET a better platform for hosted and managed Web applications by adding new features for configuring applications, both through a graphical interface and by using you own custom code to access the underlying configuration management system.

More New Controls

As well as the new server controls described in the preceding sections, there are several other new controls and enhancements to the existing controls as well. There are new controls in the System.Web.UI.HtmlControls namespace such as HtmlHead, HtmlTitle, HtmlLink, HtmlPassword, HtmlInputReset and HtmlInputSubmit. There's also a FileUpload control, a new BulletedList control that support data binding, and a HiddenField control (the use of all these should be obvious from their names). In the System.Web.UI.WebControls namespace there are the new MultiView and View controls to allow sections of a page to be hidden or made visible, and a Wizard control for building multi-step wizards.

Enhancements to existing controls include better accessibility support through new attributes such as DescriptionUrl and AccessibleHeaderText; the ability to define default buttons and set the input focus on a page; support for groups of controls when input validation is performed using the validation controls; and new features that allow you to more easily add or disable entries in a list control such as the ListBox or DropDownList.

New Page and System Architecture Features

Finally, there are many enhancements and additions to the feature set of ASP.NET that are not immediately visible. Amongst these is the ability to perform call-backs to the server from within an ASP.NET page that is being displayed in the browser (a feature called ‘client call-backs'). This is useful if you want to fetch or update information while the page is displayed. There is also a new model to enable cross-page posting of values from one page to another - something that is difficult to achieve in version 1.x.

The configuration model for ASP.NET, implemented through the system.web section of machine.config and web.config files, also provides more extensibility in version 2.0, and allows finer control over the operation of your Web site and server when processing ASP.NET files. This includes a new section in the configuration files for database and other connection strings which can be encoded if required. Plus, ASP.NET takes advantage of the new Partial Classes feature in both VB.NET and C# to simplify the code-behind model.

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About the author

Alex Homer

Alex Homer United Kingdom

Alex spent most of his earlier working life as a technical salesman, and has had a love-hate relationship with computers that goes way back to the Sinclair Z80 and the Oric Atmos. In 1996 he ret...

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